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Bader, Stefanie; Faul, Christian; Raab, Stephan; Schwaiblmair, Martin; Berghaus, Thomas M. (2018): Successful long-term treatment of persistent pulmonary air leak in pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia by unidirectional endobronchial valves. In: Respiratory Medicine Case Reports, Vol. 25: pp. 170-173
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Abstract

Spontaneous pneumothorax is a rare complication of pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia. We report a patient with pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia and therapy-refractory, right-sided pneumothorax due to persistent air leak (PAL) despite prolonged chest tube placement and multiple pleurodesis attempts. Due to the patient's morbidity, we evaluated if the PAL can be sealed by unidirectional endobronchial valves (EBVs). After occlusion of the right upper lobe by a balloon catheter, the air leak flow-rate decreased from 800 ml/min to 250 ml/min. Zephyr EBVs (ZEBVs) were placed in the segmental right upper lobe bronchi and subsequently, a complete resolution of the pneumothorax was noted. During 30 months of follow-up, neither recurrence of pneumothorax nor any adverse events of EBV treatment were noted. We conclude that ZEBV placement might be an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for PAL secondary to pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia with promising long-term results.